Resolution "Joint action needed by the German Federal Government and the federal states on higher education funding: constitutional amendment long overdue"

120th Senate held on 13 March 2012

German higher education institutions (HEIs) are relieved that the coalition parties have recognised the need to reform higher education funding, and are supportive of the declared intention to finally address this issue.
The heads of HEIs consider the proposed constitutional amendment to be a decisive step towards securing a measured and reliable basic financing of higher education - a development that they have been demanding for some time.

This issue is particularly important in light of the record numbers of students whose education is intended to secure the future success of Germany. The concern is that excessive demands will not prove an obstacle in finding a solution, since an agreement on the substance of the reform has long since been reached. Rapid action is required.

HEIs acknowledge that considerable efforts have been made in recent years to achieve a level of excellence in higher education research; also in cooperation with other research institutions. The successes that have already been achieved must be transformed to a much greater extent into real benefits for German students in their education and training. This is the reason why a strengthening of the position of HEIs is the current imperative.

Through the proposed amendment to the Basic Law, in future the German Federal Government will not only be able to fund limited measures, but will also provide long-term financing of higher education facilities. The details of this reform, however, must be made more concrete in a process led by academic stakeholders. The German Rectors' Conference (HRK) will play a role in shaping this process. This development must include a guarantee that the proportion of spending on higher education funding by the federal states remains at least at the same level, in spite of the increased support from the Federal Government.

German rectors and presidents of HEIs call on those responsible in the German Parliament (‘Bundestag’) and the Federal Council (‘Bundesrat’) and ask them finally to strengthen the opportunities for cooperation between Bund and Ländern to the extent that is required.